What makes a company good?
How do you take a good company and make it great?

You may examine your organization and check off the boxes of key factors that make a business successful:  profitability, a strong product offering, satisfactory customer service, employee productivity, etc.  However, success does not always equal greatness.  There are two defining factors that can take your business to the outstanding next level.

1.Great companies make conscious choices and defining decisions, and they stick with them:

  • Great companies have an established purpose, and they live it to the fullest. They know why they exist and are clear about the value they create in the world – a value which often goes beyond what they sell.
  • Great companies are bound to their values and beliefs, which shape a unique culture. Great companies not only understand what they stand for, they embody their values every day through their work. They use their values and beliefs to shape how they hire, develop skills and make decisions.
  • Great companies define their priorities annually and make the conscious choice to improve upon them every day. For example, if they decide to improve their market position in 2017, they find key ways to do so and have the discipline to stick with their decision and follow through.

2.   They have strong leaders and strong management (there is a difference and you need both!):

  • Management and leadership are two different skill sets, yet both are needed in a great company. The key difference between leadership and management is – leaders lead people, managers manage tasks. While management creates a competent and productive workforce, leadership creates passionate and focused people who value your organization. Leaders and managers are not always the same people, but both are found in great companies.
  • Good organizations solely rely on executives and department heads to manage and lead others. Great organizations are heavily dependent on self-management/self-leadership. Self-management is where individual team members hold themselves accountable for how they spend their time, focus and energy. Self-leadership involves individuals being proactive in their thinking, planning and interactions. Team members in great organizations lead and manage themselves to success.

What is the first step towards making your organization great?

By identifying where you, as a manager and leader, can begin to improve. This month, I challenge you to identify one behavior you can improve upon within your self-management and self-leadership skillset. Also, identify one behavior in leading and managing others that you can improve on.